The Steger Homestead Kitchen

Simple Recipes for an Abundant Life

2021
Authors:

Will Steger and Rita Mae Steger
With Beth Dooley

TALK OF THE STACKS: WILL STEGER, RITA MAE STEGER, AND BETH DOOLEY IN CONVERSATION

Personal and simple, earthy and warm—recipes and stories from the Steger Wilderness Center in Minnesota’s north woods

This is an inspiring and down-to-earth collection of meals and memories gathered at the Homestead, the home of Arctic explorer and environmental activist Will Steger, located in Minnesota’s north woods. Interwoven with dozens of mouth-watering recipes—for simple, hearty meals shared around home chefs’ own homestead tables—are Steger’s exhilarating stories of epic adventures exploring the Earth’s most remote regions.

"Will is arguably the world’s greatest living explorer. Now, with The Steger Homestead Kitchen, he and his niece Rita Mae explore with us the power of eating locally and sustainably, and in the society of others. This gorgeous book should have a place in everyone’s kitchen—or on every coffee table."—Dan Buettner

The Steger Homestead Kitchen is an inspiring and down-to-earth collection of meals and memories gathered at the Homestead, the home of the Arctic explorer and environmental activist Will Steger, located in the north woods near Ely, Minnesota. Founded in 1988, the Steger Wilderness Center was established to model viable carbon-neutral solutions, teach ecological stewardship, and address climate change. In her role as the Homestead’s chef, Will’s niece Rita Mae creates delicious and hearty meals that become a cornerstone experience for visitors from all over the world, nourishing them as they learn and share their visions for a healthy and abundant future.

Now, with this new book, home chefs can make Rita Mae’s simple, hearty meals to share around their own homestead tables. Interwoven with dozens of mouth-watering recipes—for generous breakfasts (Almond Berry Griddlecakes), warming lunches (Northwoods Mushroom Wild Rice Soup), elegant dinners (Spatchcock Chicken with Blueberry Maple Glaze), desserts (Very Carrot Cake), and snacks (Steger Wilderness Bars)—are Will Steger’s exhilarating stories of epic adventures exploring the Earth’s most remote and endangered regions.

The Steger Homestead Kitchen opens up the Wilderness Center’s hospitality, its heart and hearth, providing the practical advice and inspiration to cook up a good life in harmony with nature.

Will Steger, explorer and environmental educator, is founder of Climate Generation and the Steger Wilderness Center and winner of the National Geographic John Oliver La Gorce Medal.

Rita Mae Steger is a chef and musician who runs the Steger Wilderness Center’s food program.

Beth Dooley is a James Beard Award–winning author and coauthor of several cookbooks, including The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen (Minnesota, 2017), and a memoir, In Winter’s Kitchen.

Will is arguably the world’s greatest living explorer. Now, with The Steger Homestead Kitchen, he and his niece Rita Mae explore with us the power of eating locally and sustainably, and in the society of others. This gorgeous book should have a place in everyone’s kitchen—or on every coffee table.

Dan Buettner

Whether we are huddled together in a small tent or gathered around a big table, food gives us warmth, nourishment, and community. This book is so much more than a collection of recipes: it shares wisdom gained over a remarkable lifetime of exploration and offers a timely reminder in the era of climate change that a little can go a long way.

Eric Dayton, cofounder and CEO, Askov Finlayson (and Will Steger’s teammate on Arctic Transect 2004)

The Steger Homestead Kitchen is a very practical and inspirational book of recipes, memories, and meals from the Stegers’ Northwoods Ely kitchen. I love the sustainable, inspirational, and climate-friendly recipes and menus that were guided by Beth Dooley, an award-winning Minnesota cookbook author. This book is a good and important read.

Beatrice Ojakangas, James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame author

Whether readers are curious about cooking chicken or corn over an open fire, searching for new bread recipes or in need of ideas to feed a crowd, there is something for everyone across a variety of tastes and dietary requirements.

Shelf Awareness

Whether you’re cooking over a fire outside your tent or on a range built to feed family and friends gathered around a big table, this cookbook keeps things simple and abundant.

Midwest Home

This transporting collection, which Steger wrote with his niece Rita Mae Steger and local cookbook author Beth Dooley, is as much a cookbook as it is an argument for eating whole, clean, and local during a time of environmental strife.

Star Tribune

The Steger Homestead Kitchen: Simple Recipes for an Abundant Life is a cookbook, yes, but one that addresses climate change and environmental problems by offering good food using local, organic ingredients that don’t create a lot of waste.

MinnPost

Contents

Preface: The Steger Wilderness Homestead Kitchen

Beth Dooley

Introduction: An Arctic Explorer at Home

Will Steger

1. The Garden

2. Simple Comforts

3. Homestead Gatherings

4. Fireside Feasts

5. The Homestead Oven

6. Wholesome Treats

7. The Pantry

Acknowledgments

Will Steger embarked on the first coast-to-coast expedition across Antarctica in 1989. The award-winning 2021 film After Antarctica follows Steger's life journey.